WTF Podcast

Episode 433 - Simon Majumdar

Simon Majumdar considers himself a good cook but will not consider himself a chef. He talks with Marc about the distinction between the two terms and how that distinction has played into his life as a food critic and a judge on The Next Iron Chef. Plus, Simon shares the one sentence that he believes paved the way for his entire career. This episode is sponsored by GoToMeeting by Citrix. Try it free now using the offer code WTF.

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Kristen October 17, 2013 at 12:21 pm


I love it when you talk to food people! Simon was fascinating - I had iffy feelings about him before, but he seems like an awesome guy. I’ll definitely enjoy watching him on the Food Network more now.

Hang in there, Marc! I think that you made a really mature decision. They’re the toughest to make, but it’s worth it in the end.

Karen Heimann October 17, 2013 at 12:53 pm


Good interview with Simon, inspiring.

Hey Marc, proud of you in the way you handled this decision. The head seems good.
Best to both of you.

Deanna October 17, 2013 at 5:41 pm


Marc, I believe in you. Write that pop hit, man!
Thanks for the chuckle.

Really enjoying this interview.

Adam October 17, 2013 at 5:50 pm


Thanks, Marc and Simon. Really enjoyed your chat.

Dan October 17, 2013 at 8:26 pm


Intellectualized foodstuffs:  https://courses.edx.org/courses/HarvardX/SPU27x/2013_Oct/info

FIrst homework not due til Nov 19, 2013

Jeff Schwartz October 17, 2013 at 8:32 pm


After listening to this one, I think you really need to interview Jonathon Gold (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_Gold), the Pulitzer Prize winning food critic for the LA Times. LA Weekly, and then the Times again. His book “Counter Intelligence” is a history of LA and a history of global migration in the 20th century, in the form of an alphabetical compliation of reviews of obscure LA ethnic restaurants. He also used to be the music critic for the Weekly, did an a great interview with NWA at their peak, and used to play cello with all kinds of free jazz and art rock people. I don’t think he does a lot of self-promotion, tried to be anonymous for as long as he could so chefs wouldn’t treat him special, etc. There was a thing int he New Yorker a couple of years ago (linked on the Wikipedia article). Anyway, good luck. Love the show.

nickster October 19, 2013 at 11:33 pm


The mind erroneously believes that if it feels powerful and in control (angry) that means it IS powerful and in control. A person with healthy self-esteem says I want to act in a way that honors you and me and then pretty much acts that way in spite of the way he feels. The high comes from being someone you are proud of. Say “I’m proud of the way I handled that” then give yourself permission to feel the rush.

cory richard October 20, 2013 at 8:58 pm


how I got stuck living in a military town is worst flippin thing.  I need help moving back to my home town of l.a.  Fck I’m old and I don’t know how to start again.

M October 22, 2013 at 12:09 am


I liked what Simon had to say about the political aspects of food. Interesting dude. Never heard of him because I dont watch a lot of food shows - they make me hungry and its frustrating to know I will never get to try any of the food. I thought his story about how he got into food criticism was really cool. Thanks for getting to the nitty gritty.

Joe Tily October 31, 2013 at 11:07 am


Another episode where i knew nothing about the guest and ended up enjoying the interview way more than i was expecting. This was a very entertaining and informative chat. Thanks Marc!

Buster Brown November 07, 2013 at 2:53 am


In the event you’re compiling a list of those comments or quips that are genuine “quotable quotes” for which you’d like to (and should) claim credit so they are correctly attributed to you in perpetuity, you can add this one:

“Every one of the Seven Deadly Sins has an exit off the High Road.”

It doesn’t even need its original context.  It burned in instantly - perhaps/potentially paraphrased to match my own speech patterns - and has remained there since I first heard it.  Even comics and writers are lucky to have more than a genuine handful of these in a lifetime, so I hope you’ll treasure this one as much as I do.

Mario November 29, 2013 at 3:34 pm


I agree with Simon in that you should interview Jeffrey Zacharian. Also, Alton Brown would be a great guest.

Hang in there! Great show




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